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A Piece of My Mind
August 27, 2014

Extraordinary

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of General Medical Disciplines, Division of Palliative Medicine, Stanford University Hospitals & Clinics, Palo Alto, California
JAMA. 2014;312(8):793-794. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.6776

In my dreams, Mr Smith always looks the same. He sits at a table with a green-and-white checkered tablecloth, a pale blue hospital gown around his skeletal frame, shadows gathered behind his collarbones. His forearms are a mess of bruises—purple, blue, and a fading yellow-green—though he gestures with them wildly and easily. His amber eyes match the color of the root beer in the glass before him. Arthritic fingers close around the glass, leaving their imprints on its frosted surface. He lifts the glass to chapped lips, taking a big sip.

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